Imagine you’re on an 8000-kilometre road trip. Now imagine the worst thing that could happen. (Okay, the worst thing after death or life-threatening illness.) Now you’re getting it: vehicle problems. Because without that vehicle there ain’t gonna be no more road trip. So wait till you hear why Land Rover Mokopane rocks.
What we had instead was a mini rollercoaster, a bucking bronco sure to beat even hardened cowboys in the roughest rodeo. The tiniest corrugations or mini-potholes in the road set up a chain reaction that rocked the car back and forth with frightening momentum. Anything over 40 or 50km/h was just asking for trouble.
When you enjoy road trips to the back of beyond, as we do, there’s a fair chance you won’t find an official Land Rover service agent on the nearest corner, next to the God is Able Grocer Shop or the Last Hope Bicycle Repair kiosk. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the nearest one was in Mokopane, only 180km away. On the phone they said it sounded as though it might be a suspension problem, so they’d hold their horses and wait for us to rock and roll into town.
The challenge was going to be keeping that bucking bronco under control on a 180km trip. At a top speed of 50km, things didn’t start well. A shocking gravel road and a bad tar road for the first stretch didn’t help. But then the tar evened out, things improved a little and we finally limped into Mokopane at around three in the afternoon.
‘Can you recommend a place around here we can hire a car for the night?’ we asked.
There was a general shaking of heads. Mokopane, it seemed, didn’t have such a thing. But Land Rover service manager Corné Grobler and service advisor Anna-Mart Maré made two quick phone calls, then announced with a smile that they’d supply a fully functioning Disco 4 so driver Johannes Mapoga could take us back to my brother’s farm 180km away. All we had to do was pay for the fuel.
Service advisor and manager, my foot; they were angels and we couldn’t thank them enough. We’d been stressed and disheartened when we arrived but we left happy, feeling that they cared and our vehicle was in good hands. And the capable Johannes, bless him, didn’t seem even vaguely put out that his round trip meant he’d only get home at about 8:30 that evening.
Fast, efficient, friendly service – what more can you ask for? Well, a mechanic who fixes all your other problems, of course!
‘Is there anything else bothering you?’ Barend chirped before handing over the vehicle. And within a matter of minutes, he’d fixed the niggling problem with the window and the rattling tailgate that was loose – something that Land Rover N1 City, which services the car, had twice told us couldn’t be adjusted.
We mentioned that the fog lights didn’t work. When the car had been serviced at N1 City a month earlier, in preparation for our road trip, the mechanic couldn’t find the fault. We were told to bring the car in again when we got back to Cape Town because he’d have to remove the bumper to trace the fault. Barend slid under the car, noted that the plug connectors were undone, shoved them together and it was fixed in 10 seconds flat.
So, thank you to the smiling rock stars of Land Rover Mokopane – Corné Grobler, Anna-Mart Maré, Barend Heynie and Johannes Mapoga – for making our big problem into a small one. I hope you get this year’s Land Rover service award because you richly deserve it.
Copyright © Roxanne Reid - No words or photographs on this site may be used without permission from roxannereid.co.za